Merging corpus linguistic and discourse analytic research goals: Discourse units in biology research articles

Douglas Biber, James K. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


The present study introduces a research approach that combines corpus-linguistic and discourse-analytic perspectives to analyze the discourse pat-terns in a large corpus of biology research articles. The primary goals of the study are to identify vocabulary-based Discourse Units (DUs) using computational techniques, to describe the basic types of DUs in biology research articles as distinguished by their primary linguistic characteristics (using Multi-Dimensional analysis), to interpret those Discourse Unit Types in functional terms, and to then illustrate how the internal organiza-tion of a text can be described as a sequence of DUs, shifting among various Discourse Unit Types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-182
Number of pages32
JournalCorpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Biology research articles
  • Cluster analysis
  • Discourse structure
  • Discourse units
  • Multi-dimensional analysis
  • Text segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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